The Eye of the Fish

Maximus
March 1, 2009

Arch Centre competition

Its full steam ahead here at HMNZS Eye of the Fish, but every now and then I need to swim upstream and spawn, mow the lawns and trim the hedge, you know, that kind of thing. There may be the occasional drop in transmission whilst that’s underway, unless Philip steps once more into the breach and blogs on, but I suspect that he may be somewhat busy too, revamping the Fish eye with a shiny new set of scales. At least I hope that’s what he’s doing. And Aron – we had another wee fish called Aron, but he seems to have swum off to warmer waters. Swim back Aron! Come on in, the water’s lovely! Well, sort of freezing really, but you get my drift.

Anyway, if you’re waiting for your Fishy morning fix of architectural news, and need something to read over the morning coffee till your caffeine rating gets high enough, and we haven’t got off our lazy old butts to whip you up a fish-egg souffle, then you can always nip over to the Architectural Centre and read the news on their website. They seem to have had some sort of evangelical rebirth over the last month or so, or at least their website has – of late – blossomed into life with an alacrity that I just can’t keep up with!

Anyway – well worth a read, and especially in regard to a certain competition they seem to be running, called 20 under 40.

20u40-red.jpg

Now we’ve checked with the organisers, who say you don’t have to be all that young (though surely it helps) or good looking (its anonymous, so you can’t impress the judges that way), and they aren’t going to limit it to just 20 of you. I really haven’t a clue what it is all about, although apparently it all takes place within 24 hours, starting from 6pm this coming Friday at the School of Architecture.

There are a lot of competitions in the world, including the ones listed in Death By Architecture, but they’re all overseas, and this one is right here in town, and open to just about everyone. 

In other news about town, Wellington has been voted the most Clean and Green City in NZ (apparently by ASB Bank, to assist the Estate Agents). While it would be nice to think that the cleanness and greenness might be true, it sort of jars with the outfall of raw sewerage into the harbour last weekend (thanks a Bunch!), the continued blowing of tin cans down the street, plastic bags festooning the trees as they swirl upwards in the wind, and the seeming need by the mayor and others to plow more roads through the city: all that aside, we’re very proud of that accolade.

So: can we have some more green recycling bins please, throughout the city? Not just where the press can take photos – but all through town? Thanks !

recyclebins2.jpg

Philip
2 - 03 - 09

The new scales seem to be fitting well, although perhaps require a few more tailor-tweaks. More on this later

jayseatee
2 - 03 - 09

“cleanest and greenest”

I like wellington but this false praise about how green the city is, is a joke. The kerbside recycling programme is abysmal and the council has reluctantly backed off on undermining what is already a half hearted attempt at recycling. There are many examples of much better approaches by municaplities (in Seattle we were given a large kart for recycling and small bin for rubbish), ah but how can we forget, we’re just an adolescent city, as our mayor loves to remind us. Apparently one must destroy things of value to realise they were valuable to begin with.

“greenest city in New Zealand!” Talk about padding your accomplishments.

jayseatee
2 - 03 - 09

For anyone interested in some more information on how poor wellington’s recycling compares to other “green” cities:

Wellington recycles 16% of its waste currently
http://www.wellington.govt.nz/news/display-item.php?id=3452

in 2007 Seattle was recycling 44% of its waste (compared to an American average of 30%)
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/10/us/10recycle.html

in 2008 San Francisco hit a recycling rate of 80%
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2008/2008-04-24-092.asp
and it continues to try harder
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/us/07garbage.html

Also mentioned in the last article – everyone’s favourite love to hate city – Los Angeles – The capital of wastefulness – recycles 59% of their waste.

Every time i hear one of these ridiculous press releases about how “green” wellington is, I know it is just a smoke screen to continue the status quo.

rondo
2 - 03 - 09

nice new font mate ! looking good.

Maximus
2 - 03 - 09

why thank you, yes, we like the new font too. Very crisp and clean. Well done to Philip for the revamp, about which i think he’s going to tell us about.

jayseatee, yes, i totally agree – its a bit of an embarrassment that NZ claims its green crown when in reality its just because there is no one here. In Europe there are bins for recycling on every street corner – well, not every corner, but lots. And obviously, not in every country, like Romania and Greece, but certainly in places like Switzerland, Austria, Germany etc. Not, sad to say, in Britain, where they are known as the “Sick Man of Europe” for many reasons, none the least of which is the propensity to be the Dirty Country. But do remember – its not Welly billing itself as green – its the ASB Bank in a memo to their estate agents or something bizarre, and comparing us to 12 other NZ cities like Hamiltron, RotoVegas etc.

jayseatee
3 - 03 - 09

maximus-
your are quite right about the ASB thing, which i recognise, but I think it’s what bothers me just as much. I read the article in the dominion post and it was as if we had something to be proud of, and then you look at the rest of the list and it was really the best of a bad lot.

The city does however promote itself as some kind of green oasis and i think a lot of people buy in to it as it makes them feel good about their home, instead of challenging what exactly is being done about it and how to make it better.

that being said, hooray for the wellingtonians who petitioned to get rid of the ridiculous plastic bags for recycling idea. It’s a start.

(Truth be told, my posting last night was after talking to my partner for an hour about an ordeal with a New Zealand bureaucracy which has been ruining our lives for the past 18 months, so I had some pent up frustration to work out.)

Stephen Judd
3 - 03 - 09

Suggestion: while you’re fooling with the layout – how about hyperlinking the comment tally on the home page to the beginning of the comments on relevant article page? This is usual practice on a lot of blogs, and it’s quite annoying if you’ve already read the post to have to scroll all the way down. (Of course the annoyance is partly cause by the lovely length of those posts, but still).

Robyn
4 - 03 - 09

Site design suggestion #1. Don’t use Flash for the blue headling linkies (eg, the title of posts, commenters names, etc). It should be just be in HTML so it will give users more control over where clicking on a link takes them, and it displays much nicer in a mobile browser.

Suggestion #2. I like on Poneke’s blog how it shows a list of the most recent comments right on the main page. At a glance you can see where all the heat is and head over there to throw your opinions in.

Maximus
4 - 03 - 09

you get the Fish on your mobile? good lord, we’re everywhere! That techy stuff? He with the brains does it. I’m just the dumb blonde in the corner. However: comments noted, and we’ll be on the case shortly. We’ll have you rolling your eyes with excitement instead of boredom soon. Meantime, how’s that Secret Passage of yours? I must say – I’m thoroughly enjoying your knitted trees. My compliments to whoever came up with that idea.

Robyn
6 - 03 - 09

As it happens, the bit of knitting I did is not longer up on its tree. It was a bit of a tight fit around the trunk, so it might have worked itself loose. (Or perhaps a fan stole it?)

Credit goes to Knitsch and StiX for doing the local Outdoor Knit project, but there have been people doing long before them – a brief history of guerilla knitting can be found here.